[Market-farming] Garlic Curing and Storage

tonitime at juno.com tonitime at juno.com
Mon Jun 18 00:10:44 EDT 2007

Greetings, Ken!
     I moved to eastern Kentucky about 7 yrs ago, from arid central
California, and alliums happen to be my personal favorite. i keep up
about 20 types of garlics and quite alot of multiplying onions from year
to year.  What has worked well for our crops has been quite easy - even
in rainier times than this hard, dry year.  I started small enough to
hang my garlics under our front porch eves - alot of them, with the
bundles fairly close to each other.  They are hung by type, under the
galvanized metal roofing.  As i grew out more and more, i now fill half
an unchinked log outbuilding behind the house that also has metal
roofing.  They are out of sun, quite warm, but get a good breeze blowing
thru in both places.  It has been fine, with no fan/electricity to spur
on the drying.  After it has cured ( and i do leave it up 2-3 weeks
longer than in CA.), i clean it, bag it by size for selling, seed stock,
and small for powder and buds.  Then, i store it in the back of our cool
basement - away from the windows. I have soft and hardnecks, and still
could use last year's bulbs up until the last month on a few of the
varieties - tho most dried up  a few months back.  I don't know if i can
get more mileage than that!  Learning how to do these things, in such a
different climate and with 90 days less growing season has been a fun
challenge for this gardener.
Good luck with your efforts over there - i had to start digging mine up
this week, and am finding for the first time that our bulbs are much
smaller than ever before.  The extremes in temps earlier seem to have
dealt them a blow.  I have always had pretty decent sized garlic until
this time. Even the Elephant Garlic looks to be half their usually huge
size.  I have barely begun harvest, so am hoping for better in those
still in ground.  Guess i can't be lucky all the time ;)
Red River Gorge, KY.

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